Ralph Hood
(Top Gun)
03/04/14 02:31 PM
Mooney

ALL:

The only Mooney I ever flew had manual gear extension and retraction (great system, BTW). Does anyone remember when Mooney changed to non-manual gear.
And--just for the fun of it--does anyone remember seeing the Mooney Mite--often called the Mighty Mooney Mite?

Ralph H


Stephanie Belser
(Top Gun APC)
03/04/14 02:50 PM
Re: Mooney

I saw a Mooney Mite at LWM about 24 years ago. Looked like it'd be fun to fly. It was the only one that I remember seeing.

Jeff Hartmann CIC
(Top Gun)
03/04/14 03:23 PM
Re: Mooney

Back around 1969 I was supposed to deliver a Mooney Mite from Miami to New York.

I test flew it before an annual inspection. Just fun, like a Cassutt...in that you felt like you were in a model airplane. But, slower...and with the canopy open. It had a mechanical (cable) adjustable prop, looked like the crank from a very early auto vent window.

Then they did the annual....and found dry rot in the center section. ( glad I didn't do anything stupid!)

I also flew an early Mooney, with fixed gear and manual hydraulic flaps.


Scott Dyer [HPN/NY]
(Top Gun)
03/04/14 05:15 PM
Re: Mooney

Ralph -- From what I can glean, it's about 1969 that Mooneys got electic gear. It's not as early as '66, as Ed Williams' page on a '66 M20E (http://williams.best.vwh.net/m20e/mooneysys.pdf ) shows the earlier system.

Ralph Jones
(Top Gun)
03/04/14 05:26 PM
Re: Mooney

I was in a club in 1965-68 that had an M20E, with manual gear and hand-hydraulic flaps. Working the gear took a little practice...you had to do it in one motion or you'd bog down. We had a woman member who had to do a slight pitch motion to get it down.

The checklist-standard takeoff was with one pump of flaps, and you couldn't bleed that off when done with them: you just pushed a pressure-dump button with your thumb and they snapped up. You needed to do a small, carefully-synchronized pitchup to avoid scaring passengers.


Ralph Hood
(Top Gun)
03/04/14 10:27 PM
Re: Mooney

Stephanie B:

Their was a time when all of the reps of National Aviation Underwriters covered their territory in Mooney Mites. I wasn't one of them until later. It had no really luggage space, no heater--how they did it, I don't know. The last one I saw was in the '60s or early 70s. Tiny!

Ralph H


Bill Bridges - 9S1
(Top Gun)
03/04/14 11:02 PM
Re: Mooney

Quote:

Stephanie B:

Their was a time when all of the reps of National Aviation Underwriters covered their territory in Mooney Mites. I wasn't one of them until later. It had no really luggage space, no heater--how they did it, I don't know. The last one I saw was in the '60s or early 70s. Tiny!

Ralph H




The last Mite I saw was at T47 in 1969. One minor problem with the tail assembly as I discussed with Randy a while back. :-))


Joe Budge (W29)
(Top Gun)
03/05/14 07:08 AM
Re: Mooney

Ralph,

According to this article, Mooney introduced electric gear with the J model. Wiki says that was 1977.

Regards,
Joe


Ralph Hood
(Top Gun)
03/05/14 10:57 AM
Re: Mooney

Joe B:

RE: MAPA Article

Shoot. I spoke for MAPA (Mooney Airplanbe Pilots Assoc)in JUne, 1997 in Savannah, GA. Shoulda kept some names and phone numbers.

Ralph H


Scott Dyer [HPN/NY]
(Top Gun)
03/05/14 02:21 PM
Re: Mooney

Joe -- Seems late...1977. This article says 1969 (which may be early):
http://home.comcast.net/~mjcoyle/aviation/gear-motor.html

And another vote for 1969:

"Electrical failure in earlier models presents no major dramas. Up until 1968, all Mooneys had a bullet-proof manual gear retraction system. Hinged from the floor, the long gear handle, or Johnson Bar, locks forward into the bottom of the instrument panel for the down position. To retract, the thumb button is depressed while sliding the locking mechanism downwards and the handle is pulled to floor between the seats.

"The entire retraction of all three wheels seems almost instantaneous and is effortless if done before too much speed is gained. Flaps are extended hydraulically through a manual handle located next to the gear. Full flap is obtained with four complete pumps, and the flaps will retract automatically. Mooney introduced electrically operated landing gear and flaps as standard in 1969, however, the manual gear is so popular there is no price difference between electric and manual gear when purchasing an early Mooney."

http://www.pilotfriend.com/aircraft%20performance/Mooney/31.htm


Ralph Jones
(Top Gun)
03/05/14 05:08 PM
Re: Mooney

Quote:

gear handle, or Johnson Bar, locks forward into the bottom of the instrument panel for the down position.



The tricky part was the very end of the extension. The end of the bar seated into a recess in the panel, then a sliding collar on the end of the bar had to be slid up to latch it in place. Your arm would be extended straight forward, and your fist had to apply a substantial vertical force at right angles to the arm -- not something your joints are designed for.


Joe Budge (W29)
(Top Gun)
03/05/14 07:17 PM
Re: Mooney

Very well could be, Scott. All I really know about Mooneys I learned reading "Bax Seat"!

Regards,
Joe


Andy Alson (HPN/NY)
(THE TOP GUN!)
03/06/14 08:15 AM
Mooney

The 1989 Aviation Consumer Used Aircraft Guide says"

Early Mooneys had manually-operated landing gear. electric gear becaqme
available in 1966, and standard in 1969.

Just another data point.

Andy


Phil Hecksel
(AVSIG Member)
03/25/15 10:08 PM
Re: Mooney

Quote:

Quote:

gear handle, or Johnson Bar, locks forward into the bottom of the instrument panel for the down position.



The tricky part was the very end of the extension. The end of the bar seated into a recess in the panel, then a sliding collar on the end of the bar had to be slid up to latch it in place. Your arm would be extended straight forward, and your fist had to apply a substantial vertical force at right angles to the arm -- not something your joints are designed for.



PFFTTTT

There was one and only one trick to the manual gear... ok maybe two

The gear was grabbed "backwards" with your hand under the gear and thumb aimed to the tail. With that, it was one smooth motion.

2nd lesser trick was you did not stop in the process, if you stopped the momentum, you were done.

Phil... with a few thousand swings of the Mooney johnson bar :)


Ralph Jones
(Top Gun)
03/25/15 10:31 PM
Re: Mooney

Yeah, I remember the reverse-grip trick, but it was still a challenge to slide the collar up into its lock. But then, I didn't fly it that much.

Jeff Hartmann CIC
(Top Gun)
03/26/15 06:51 PM
Re: Mooney

Long ago ( I hate saying that ) I flew a guy from OPF to EYW in a Mooney M 20 that had fixed gear. I think most were later converted, haven't seen one since (1969).

Phil Hecksel
(AVSIG Member)
03/26/15 08:09 PM
Re: Mooney

Quote:

Yeah, I remember the reverse-grip trick, but it was still a challenge to slide the collar up into its lock. But then, I didn't fly it that much.




Then it wasn't properly adjusted.


Ralph Jones
(Top Gun)
03/26/15 09:31 PM
Re: Mooney

That wouldn't surprise me...;-)

B. Butler (Oregonian)
(Top Gun)
04/23/15 04:07 PM
Re: Mooney

Quote:

Mooney M 20 that had fixed gear.




Made me dig out my first log book:

9/10/65 Mooney "Master" Grand Island NE to Columbine, CO 2+45


Kcid LlirreM
(Top Gun)
07/01/15 09:20 AM
Re: Mooney

Local Mooney had the nose gear collapse while taxing to a shop. Turns out there was prior damage probably from a towing job that turned the gear beyond its limits. Totaled the Mooney


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